It’s summer in Northern New York — that means water. Yes, the lake, river, pools, streams, ponds, sprinklers etc. — but I’m talking about water to drink. How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple question with no easy answer. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years. But your individual water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live. Listen to your body and if you are thirsty drink, but here are some tips to make it a little easier.
1. Add a splash of citrus (or other fruits and veggies) to perk up the flavor. Squeeze lemon or lime juice (from the fruit or the bottle) into your class. You can also cut up strawberries, melons, or cucumber and let them infuse overnight in a pitcher of water in the fridge. Try these recipes: http://wdt.me/9oyofc. Carry a water bottle with you. Going to work or school or shopping? Take your bottle of water with you. It will remind you to sip throughout the day and ensure you stay hydrated.
3. Embrace the bubbles. There are a ton of sparkling waters and seltzers on the market. Look for ones that are not sugar or artificially sweetened — just water and natural flavors. Sometimes we just need a little carbonation in our lives.
4. Pick your temperature. There’s no rule that says your water has to be ice cold. A lot of people find it harder to drink that way. Drink it room temp, or try hot water with lemon. I like to mix it up throughout the day. Have hot lemon water first thing in the morning, and then keep your water bottle filled with room temp H2O during the work day.
5. Want to track how much you’re drinking? There are plenty of apps to track electronically. There are also water bottles with motivating sayings as you work your way down the fill line.
And, by the way, you don’t need to rely only on water to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are almost 100% water by weight. In addition, beverages such as milk, juice and herbal teas are mostly water. Even caffeinated drinks — such as coffee and soda — can contribute to your daily water intake. But go easy on sugar sweetened drinks. Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of added sugar, which may provide more calories than needed. For this summer, focus on water — in every form.